KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones celebrated the formation of the Sack Nation Foundation on Tuesday with a donation to the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
The goal of the Sack Nation Foundation is “to improve the health and well-being of young people in underserved communities,” according to a release announcing the foundation’s creation.
“I was once in those communities, and I definitely understand those situations,” Jones said. “My vision is to bring resources and people together in a positive way that ultimately improves the overall quality of life.”
Jones’ donation will allow 300 children from the YMCA and their siblings to participate in flag football. He plans to have events throughout Kansas City, in St. Joseph during Chiefs training camp, and in his hometown of Houston, Mississippi.
“That’s always been a part of my vision,” Jones said. “What I see or perceive as being successful is reaching back and giving back to those once in your position. That’s how we keep this thing going.”
After doing some soul-searching about what he wanted his foundation to focus on, Jones settled on boosting programs that improve the lives of children.
“What resonates with me the most is being a kid. I was once told by a wise guy, ‘If you can think as a 5-year-old, you can live forever,’” Jones said. “... For me, personally, I always feel like kids are what keeps the world moving.”
He wanted to help children who may not have as many opportunities as other “be part of something greater than themselves.”
“The YMCA of Greater Kansas City focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Jones said in a statement. “It’s a perfect fit for Sack Nation Foundation, especially for kids in vulnerable communities. We can’t wait to share the details on how the partnership can hopefully make a huge difference in kids’ lives.”
Jones appeared virtually to announce the donation due to COVID-19 protocols put in place by the NFL.
“We’re looking forward to partnering with Chris Jones and Sack Nation Foundation to give hundreds of kids the opportunity to learn and grow from sports,” YMCA of Greater Kansas City President and CEO John Mikos said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the shared commitment to nurturing the potential of youth and making sports accessible to kids of all backgrounds and abilities.”
The Sack Nation Foundation website also has some Stone Cold Chris Jones shirts available. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Sack Nation Foundation.
He said "the sky's the limit" for the future of the foundation and building houses may be part of the ultimate evolution.
Jones has led the Chiefs in sacks each of the last three seasons, including 7.5 sacks during the 2020 season. He finished third in the NFL behind Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt with a career-high 15.5 sacks in 2018.
Jones ranks eight in Chiefs history with 40.5 career sacks and would move into the franchise's top five all-time with five sacks in 2021.
“He’s a guy who cares,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in a launch video for the Sack Nation Foundation. “From the moment he got to Kansas City, he was invested in Kansas City.”
Donovan lauded Jones as an important player for the Chiefs but also an important figure in the community.
“Chris brings a lot of energy and passion in everything he does,” Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said. “Certainly, anything off the field that Chris gets behind, he’s going to bring that same energy, passion and desire to succeed just like he does on game day.”
Veah lauded Jones’ new foundation and said it “shows the type of character and type of person he is to want to work with kids and provide that spark and that motivation to improve their lives.”
Donovan said “it’s really inspiring to watch” Jones blossom as a philanthropist.
“My hope for Sack Nation Foundation is, if you bottle up all the energy that Chris Jones has brought to Arrowhead during his entire career, if you could equate that and say, ‘That’s how much impact he’s had in the community,’ that would be a pretty good result,” Donovan said.